Zagreb - The newly-appointed Parliament Speaker Božo Petrov said in his first address to the Parliament as Speaker that his priority would be to make the Parliament and its bodies as efficient as possible, announcing the adoption of a code of conduct for members of Parliament.
Petrov promised to conduct parliamentary sessions in an objective and impartial way and in line with parliamentary procedures and deadlines.
"You can rest assured that I will put all of your bills and other acts on the agenda in a timely and equal fashion. It is my mission and duty to make the Croatian Sabor, as the highest institution, the most representative body in Croatia that will be maximally efficient," said Petrov.
He stressed that he would do his best to make the Sabor a state parliament in the full sense of the word and the highest body of representation and law-making, as well as a guarantor of the accomplishment of state and national interests and the protection of basic freedoms, human and minority rights and all other democratic values.
"This parliament and this government face major tasks and serious challenges," he said, underlining as the main goals economic growth and putting a stop to emigration. "That can be possible only in a tolerant atmosphere of cooperation, mutual respect, well-reasoned discussions, constructive criticism, harmonising the interests of all political camps and mature political decision-making, while rejecting intolerance, exclusion and unnecessary divisions of any kind," said Petrov. He voiced confidence that all parliamentary parties would be able to reach a consensus on all issues of national significance.
"Without strategically well-thought-out and measured political decisions, without a strategic framework that enables good, implementable and lasting laws and without respect for the parliamentary procedure of adoption of laws and other acts, neither a democratic set-up of the country nor the rule of law are possible," said Petrov. He told MPs that they had the duty to treat their term as their job and more than that.
"We should ensure the adoption and application of a code of conduct for members of Parliament, that should be our common goal if we want to justify the trust given us by voters in elections," said Petrov. He said that he would work for a more responsible work of parliamentary working bodies, which, he said, should have a stronger role in policy making and controlling the executive authorities.
After Petrov's address, the Parliament appointed the Privileges and Credentials Commission which withdrew for a half an hour session, after which it was to report which elected members of Parliament would remain in the Parliament and which had incompatible duties. After that, MPs were expected to be sworn in and to elect deputy parliament speakers and chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of parliamentary committees, which will mark the end of the parliament's inaugural session.
The parliament is expected to reconvene late in the afternoon to adopt laws enabling the appointment of the new prime minister and government, which is expected to happen by the middle of next week. (Hina)